The Legend of Kage 2 DS Review

The Legend of Kage 2, published by Taito, is the sequel to a 1984 arcade game that up until recently (thanks to a release on Wii's Virtual Console) time forgot. It's your stereotypical 2-D hack-and-slash affair that sends you on a mission to save a princess from demonic forces. With simple graphics and standard issue button mashing, we suppose it should make us feel nostalgic. Instead, it reminds us of the same old thing.

That's because there's nothing unique about it. Taito, instead of tapping into the DS' power, designed a very basic looking side scrolling adventure that's all about slicing your way through ninjas in multicolored outfits. It's a fun time, especially with the option of playing as two characters, the sword carrying Kage and the scythe swinging Chihiro. There's also a neat and customizable ninjutsu system that lets you create powerful moves by combining different Element Orbs. That said, if all you want is a basic and old school button masher, The Legend of Kage 2 delivers the sword slashing goods.

Problem is, the game looks too old. It's hard playing Konami's Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia and then going to Kage's bland looking stages and characters. Sure, it's got some pretty cut scenes, but this looks like something that belongs on a TurboGrafx-16, and not a 32-bit system. Taito missed an opportunity to craft something beautiful.

Whether or not you agree, of course, depends on how much you love classic video games. It's ugly, but Kage feels like a Shinobi clone and that's not a bad thing. We just want a little more from today's releases, even ones priced $19.99. But for what it is, Kage 2's blade is sharp enough to cut into our game time.

What's Hot: Well-drawn 2-D cut scenes, old school graphics, lots of button mashing, cool ninjutsu system.

What's Not: Yawn-inducing stories, lame bosses, watching the same attacks gets old.